Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and current front-runner for the Democratic nomination for president, made a campaign faux pas when she wore a $12,495 Giorgio Armani tweed jacket for a speech on inequality, the New York Post reported.
While Clinton’s style has tended to be “dowdy and matronly,” the Post said, she has “upgraded the designers she wears, opting for high-end European labels, and hired a team of image experts that includes former Michelle Obama aide Kristina Schake, who’s been tasked with shaping her style and making her more relatable.”
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According to the Washington Free Beacon, “The price of the jacket constitutes roughly 40 percent of what the average American worker makes in a year,” as the median income for American workers was $30,815 in 2014, the most recent year where statistics are available.
The timing of the report is not the best for Clinton, who is facing a serious challenge in today’s California primary from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialist who has made inequality in America his signature campaign issue.
Of course, Hillary Clinton is not the first politician who has been targeted for her expensive wardrobe. As CNBC reported, Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, often wears Brioni suits, “which can cost a whopping $7,000 each.”
Then-vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin faced a similar issue in 2008. As the New York Times reported at the time, the Republican National Committee “spent $75,062 at Neiman Marcus and $49,425 at Saks Fifth Avenue in September for Ms. Palin and her family.”
But for Hillary Clinton, it should be a concern for a candidate who said that when she and Bill Clinton left the White House in 2001, they were “broke” and “in debt,” although she expressed “regret” for that comment, the Washington Post reported in 2014.
Clinton has also come under fire for accepting over $21 million in “speaking fees,” the New York Post reported in another piece.
“A look at Mrs. Clinton’s speaking venues and the whopping sums she’s received since she left State gives us an indication who’s desperate for a place at the trough — and whom another Clinton administration might favor,” the Post said, listing Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and other major names that gave her money.
Sanders has criticized her over these speeches and demanded that the transcripts be made public.
“Secretary Clinton wanted everybody else to release it,” Sanders said in a March debate with Clinton, quoted by the Hill. “Well, I’m your Democratic opponent. I released it, here it is! There ain’t nothing. I don’t give speeches to Wall Street for hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
But the revelation about Clinton’s wardrobe — and particularly the $12,000 jacket — are what is currently drawing attention.
Sarah Westwood of the Washington Examiner tweeted, “You would think someone would say: ‘Hey, Hillary, maybe don’t give this speech on inequality wearing a $12k jacket.'”
Other social media responded as well.
“Hillary Clinton’s wardrobe may seem like a trivial matter but it’s not when the now presumptive Democrat nominee intends to make income inequality a pillar of her campaign,” the Gateway Pundit noted, adding that Democrats similarly made Sarah Palin’s wardrobe an issue in 2008.
What do you think? Is it a campaign issue that Hillary Clinton wore such an expensive jacket — and for a speech on inequality? Is she susceptible of charges of hypocrisy, or are there more important issues to worry about? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
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